Alexander “Skip” Spence
Head over to Hidden Track and check out the piece that I wrote on troubled musician, Skip Spence. Skip was a founding member of Moby Grape and played drums for Jefferson Airplane on their debut album. He then found himself in a personal hell and descended into a drug induced battle for his sanity, ultimately reaching madness.
Singer/songwriter Marty Balin of Jefferson Airplane first saw him in the crowd from the stage at The Matrix in San Francisco back in 1965. The Airplane was in the midst of dismissing their present drummer and he needed someone to fill the spot and keep time for his band, who had yet to take flight. To Balin, he had such an unusual look, moddish-shag haircut and mutton chop sideburns. Spence, who had very little drumming experience but had jammed with The Quicksilver Messenger Service previously, was sent home with a pair of drumsticks and told to practice. The Airplane needed someone to play drums on their upcoming first album, Jefferson Airplane Takes Off. The sessions went swimmingly and the band’s path was seemingly set. (more…)